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‘Victory for common sense’: Thunder Road

July 21, 2016

Thunder Road Brewing Co has welcomed its Pacific Ale court win against Stone & Wood, while the Northern Rivers brewer maintains the proceedings were about “making a stand for originality and creativity”.

Thunder Road CEO Philip Withers said the company was very pleased with the Federal Court’s decision.

“We have always believed that Stone & Wood was wrong to bring this action against us and defended the matter vigorously,” he said.

“Developing new and exciting beers for consumers is what Thunder Road, and the craft brewing industry is all about. We feel vindicated in our actions and believe the decision is a victory for common sense and for craft beer drinkers throughout Australia,” said Withers.

The case brought by Stone & Wood “wasn’t about winning or losing”, according to co-founder Jamie Cook.

“It was about making a stand. Making a stand for originality and creativity. There are a lot of businesses in this industry that search for new spaces and create new directions,” he said.

“We think it’s fine for the rest of the industry to capitalise on the momentum created by that if it’s done in a respectful way.

“We also understand it’s a cluttered market and occasionally we unknowingly step on each other’s toes. In those situations we can usually sort it out brewer to brewer.

“Our stance was about trying to maintain a respectful industry,” said Cook.

Wild Yak Pacific Ale
The ruling would appear to clear the way for Carlton & United Breweries to persist with its use of ‘Pacific Ale’ on its new Wild Yak beer.

That is, if there was any doubt about CUB’s ability to use Pacific Ale, given its pre-existing ownership of the Pacific Beverages trade mark.

4 Responses to ‘Victory for common sense’: Thunder Road

  1. Nathan Rundle on July 24, 2016 at 11:43 am

    There’ll only ever be one Pacific Ale…..

  2. Michael Doherty on July 22, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Nicely put Paul Pacey.

  3. Paul Pacey on July 21, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Look out for Thunder Road’s new “Garden Ale” coming to a bottle shop near you soon. :P

    The above line was a joke, of course. I think that Thunder Road using the name, “Pacific Ale” is disrespectful to a company that goes out of its way to grow the craft beer industry in Australia. Their decision to pursue the use of a beer name that only exists due to the massive investment by Stone and Wood goes against the established practices of smaller breweries collaborating to better the industry for all smaller breweries.

    Maybe Thunder Road could spend more time innovating and creating ideas for themselves, instead of using lawyers to establish their “right” to operate their business off the back of other people’s creativity and ingenuity? Thunder Road may have the legal win, but I think they may lose out here… more than they realise.

    • Andy on July 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Well said Paul,
      Also coming soon will be Thunder Road
      Stone Beer
      Hightail Ale
      Enjoy By
      Kung Fu

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